By: Andrew Cockburn
Andrew Myles Cockburn is a British journalist and the Washington, D.C., editor of Harper’s Magazine. He subsequently published many articles on the subject of US and Soviet military power as well as lecturing at numerous military bases, foreign policy forums, and colleges and innumerable television shows. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he began covering Middle Eastern subjects, including the 1991 documentary on the after-effects of the first Gulf war, The War We Left Behind, which he co-produced for PBS Channel.
In the last decades, America has gone to war as supposed defenders of democracy. The War on Terror was waged to protect the West from the dangers of Islamists. US soldiers are stationed in more than 800 locations across the world to act as the righteous arbiters of the rule of law. In this book, Andrew Cockburn brilliantly dissects the intentions behind Washington’s martial appetites. The American war machine can only be understood in terms of the private passions and interests of those who control it – principally a passionate interest in money. Thus, as Cockburn witheringly reports, Washington expanded NATO to satisfy an arms manufacturer’s urgent financial requirements; the US Navy’s Pacific fleet deployments were for years dictated by a corrupt contractor who bribed high-ranking officers with cash and prostitutes; senior marine commanders agreed to a troop surge in Afghanistan in 2017 because it will do us good at budget time. After years of wide-ranging research, Cockburn lays bare the ugly reality of the largest military machine in history: squalid and, at the same time, terrifyingly dangerous.